M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Thursday, February 06, 2003  

From Point “A” to No Point at All

It’s not weird to sing in the car, I don’t think. Cars have radios for a reason, after all, and radio stations play music for the same reason. So don’t be self-conscious. When you’re alone in your car, driving down the road, and a fellow motorist glances over at you and happens to catch you with your head tilted back, eyes closed, mouth agape, veins standing out from your neck and foreheaed, with one fist clenched as if holding an invisible microphone, there’s no need to be embarrassed. It’s perfectly normal. Lots of people do it. I won’t tell anyone. Just wave and be on your way.

Because you can be comfortable in the knowledge that at least you’re not a freak like me who only sings the harmony parts.

I don’t know why I do this. Actually, yes I do.

I’m not a good singer. I don’t like to sing in church. It practically takes a court order to get me onstage at a karaoke bar, and even then I’ll only do the Fred Schneider part on “Love Shack.” I’ll sing with my band, but that’s different because there are seven kinds of cacophony drowning out my voice. And even then, I rarely sing lead unless it’s on “Sweet Child O’Mine” by Guns & Roses, which is supposed to sound vocally horrible anyway. I’m all about singing backup harmony whenever possible. That includes the times that I’m in the car by myself, because I’m too self-conscious about my singing to pretend to be the lead even when nobody can hear me.

Don’t you feel sad for me now? Don’t you want to, like, hold a telethon or something?

This is really not filling up as much space as I’d hoped. Hold on, I’m going to change topics so abruptly that we’ll probably pull a couple of gees.

I never told you about when we had to change planes in Minneapolis on our way to Austin last month. As I mentioned, we flew from Rochester to Minneapolis to Memphis to the Texas capital. From Rochester to Minneapolis, we spent twenty minutes in the air. From our arrival gate to our connection gate, we spent nearly twice that long walking through the terminal.

You think I’m kidding. I’m not. The airport has been under construction since the day it opened, I think. They’re always adding something on, like a parking ramp or a concourse or a runway. The last time I looked at the “completion” date for the airport project, they expected to have everything done by 2010. By that point, of course, everything tht exists today will need refurbishing so they’ll have to start all over. Either that, or ubiquitous flying Jetson-mobiles will make public airports obsolete. But anyway.

The airports used to have concourses that were designated by color. We had Green, Gold, Red, and Blue, as if they were named after X-wing squadrons. But with all the concourses they’ve added in recent years, that’s been dropped in favor of letters. I assume that’s because too many colors would be confusing, especially to international travelers: “We’ll be landing at the Taupe Concourse, which should give you plenty of time to make it to your connecting flight from the Tan-Maroon Concourse, which you can reach by going past the Ecru Concourse and through the Periwinkle Concourse. Just be sure to steer clear of the Kind Of A Pale, Dusty Rose With A Faint Bluish Undertone Concourse.”

Anyway, We landed at the far end of the A concourse. Our connecting flight was at the far end of the G concourse. I’ll illustrate it thusly: imagine that the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is shaped, from above, like a giant letter H. We landed at the very extremity of the lower right-hand leg of that H. Then we had to walk to what amounted to a letter in an entirely different alphabet. This is what happens when you give almost an entire airport to one airline.

It’s good that one of the additions to the airport will be an internal monorail. It would be better if the monorail had been built before the terminal’s footprint was made larger than a suburb. I’m all for a brisk stroll every now and then, but if I’d known I had a hike like that in front of me when I left I would have ditched our bags in Rochester and worn the same clothes all week in Austin.

Then at least my BO would have distracted people from the fact that I was sitting in my rental car singing backup harmonies.

posted by M. Giant 3:43 PM 0 comments


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